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Monday, March 28, 2011
LMS Pilgrimage to York: report and pictures
We're now back from our trip to York, a stunning event which exceeded our most hopeful expectiations. Numbers were up to about 800 in York Minster, they Minster ushers brought masses of extra chairs into the choir but there was still a big crowd outside the Rood Screen in the nave, and we ran out of hosts, even though they were being broken up into small fragments.
The procession through the streets of York was very impressive; we saw St Margaret Clitherow's Shrine in the Shambles (not, apparantly, exactly where she lived, but in the same street), her place of execution on Ousebridge, and we walked on past the Bar Convent to the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs, where we had Benediction and venerated her relic (her hand).
It was a great witness to the Faith, and a testament to the devotion of English Catholics to St Margaret Clitherow. The Minster authorities were extraordinarily welcoming to us, many thanks to them; the Dean, The Very Reverend Keith Jones, and the Precentor, Canon Peter Moger, attended the Mass in their special seats in the Choir.
It was wonderful to have Mass there in this ancient and awe-inspiring church. Until now the Catholic Mass has been celebrated in the Minster only once since it was banned by Queen Elizabeth, in the 1980s, but that was in the Crypt. (This event rings a vague bell with me, I think I heard about it when I was at school up the road at Ampleforth.) However, we had a Traditional Sung Mass, at the High Altar itself, with William Byrd's Five Part Mass sung extremely well by the Rudgate Singers. I was with the greatly expanded, 12-strong Chant Schola myself. Fr Stephen Maughan, the celebrant, preached very well on St Margaret, and we had a large number of clergy in choir.
Matt Doyle brought 52 people with him on a coach from Birmingham, including three priests. A party came from Reading, and a large group from Allerton Bywater I think. I spotted a good number of bloggers there, there are reports already up in a few places and my photos are uploading right now!
The full set of my pictures can be seen here; there are more here. Some of my best pictures are still uploading as I write so I'll be posting more.